February 23, 2012; Melbourne, FL, USA; Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo on the fields during camp at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE
On the night of the 2012 MLB Draft, after the Washington Nationals had selected 6'6'' right-hander Lucas Giolito out of Harvard-Westlake (HS) in California, D.C. GM Mike Rizzo told reporters, "We're going to make every attempt to sign him. And with the new rules in the [CBA] it's a different ballgame, so we're going to put our best foot forward and try to sell him on our place here in Washington as the place that will get him the healthiest and get him the best opportunity to do what he wants to do and that's to pitch in the big leagues."
The concern with Giolito, of course, was an injured elbow. Had the right-hander who reached triple digits with his fastball last year, has what Rizzo described as, "a power body", "a power arm," and, "... three plus pitches across the board," finished his senior year at Harvard-Westlake, in which he was (9-1) with 78 K's (9.98 K/9) and a 1.00 ERA in 70.1 IP, without suffering a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, he likely would have gone at the top of the 2012 Draft instead of 16th overall. The Nationals took a risk 15 other teams were unwilling to take.
"The elbow is good," Rizzo told reporters right after the selection, "He's been throwing on flat ground. He's been long-tossing and doing a throwing program so we feel confident about [his health] and he feels confident about it and we'll see once we get our hands on him [and get him] in our uniform we'll see where he's at."
The Nationals have until 5:00 pm EDT this afternoon to get a deal signed. As of this moment (2:43 pm EDT), Giolito remains one of three 1st Round picks who haven't signed along with the no.5 overall pick RHP Kevin Gausman, selected by the Orioles out of LSU and Mark Appel, the right-hander the Pirates drafted out of Stanford with the eighth pick. ESPN.com's Keith Law (@KeithLaw), who said he loved the pick by the Nats on the night of the draft, wrote on Twitter this afternoon that it's a big deal that the Nats get Giolito signed:
No team has more at stake than the Nats. Giolito is the difference between having one of the best drafts and having the worst.— keithlaw (@keithlaw) July 13, 2012
Can D.C. GM Mike Rizzo get it done? The Nationals have just over two hours to get Giolito to sign...